Sports

Decorated athlete leads Arlington wrestling

Senior co-captains Chris Myers, left, and Nathan Short practice a move. Both return from state competition last winter. - DANIELLE SZULCZEWSKI Sports Reporter
Senior co-captains Chris Myers, left, and Nathan Short practice a move. Both return from state competition last winter.
— image credit: DANIELLE SZULCZEWSKI Sports Reporter

ARLINGTON — It’s a battle of the fittest in Wesco North wrestling. Arlington is hoping to build a lean, mean program that can compete with some of toughest teams in the state on a weekly basis.

The foundation for this year’s program under new coach Shaun Williams, who replaces departed head coach Doug Byers, will be the team’s four state-tested wrestlers.

The most experienced wrestler of the four is two-time state wrestler, senior and co-captain Chris Myers. In practice, when not helping Williams demonstrate a technique, Myers squared off with teammate Nathan Short, another one of the team captains and a first-time state wrestler last year. Senior Brian Dickerson is the third captain, wrestling at heavyweight.

“All three were state qualifiers last year and if we can get those three back and two to three more to state, it will be a good season,” Williams said, articulating his goal for the team he took over just before practices began in mid-November.

One of those two to three more might be senior Max Scherf, who went to state two years ago as a sophomore. A lot of guys out for Arlington wrestling this year appear to fall into the middle weight categories this year, which is where Myers, Short and Scherf fall.

In this way, the team resembles its coach.

A former assistant coach and active wrestler, Williams brings a wide range of experiences to the Arlington program. He has coached and competed on at least four continents, most recently in South Africa where started wrestling 25 years ago.

He placed eighth at the junior world championships in Iran in 1995, took bronze in the Commonwealth Games in 2002 and qualified for the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens out of New York City.

Williams is also a two-time all-American wrestler and Pac-10 champion. His recent coaching stints include assisting at North Idaho College for three years and at Central Valley High School.

Jumping into a league like Wesco North with some of the state’s favorite teams to win it all this year — including Snohomish and Lake Stevens — it won’t be easy for Arlington to wrestle its way to the top, especially as the program returns to 4A competition. But Williams counts the league’s toughness as an asset of which he hopes to take full advantage.

“It’s nice. It’s one of the toughest leagues in the state, but it’s nice. You get measured every week,” he said.

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